Subsea studies are underway for the 2GW Star of the South project, marking another step forward for what’s planned to be Australia’s first offshore wind farm.

Studies of seabed and marine mammal conditions at the project site off Gippsland, Victoria, will include water depth measurements, checks for buried cables or shipwrecks and acoustic recording of wildlife such as whales and dolphins.

The investigations will be crucial in deciding the type of foundations to be used by the Star of the South’s turbines, said the project team.

The start of the new work follows the deployment of floating Lidar systems last year.

If Star of the South is feasible it could be delivering full power by 2027 and supply about one-fifth of Victoria’s power needs, its developer – which is backed by global offshore wind investor Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) – has previously said.

The Australian government earlier this year opened talks over a policy framework to underpin offshore wind development off its coasts, in a move welcomed by the nation’s fledgling industry as a signal that it has a long-term future down under.

Andy Evans, the former Star of the South CEO who launched the project and now leads industry group Offshore Wind Australia, in a recent article for Recharge said the sector represents a “golden opportunity” for the nation as it looks to transition from coal and other fossil fuels.

Offshore Wind Australia will hold the country's first offshore wind conference in Melbourne on 2 April 2020. More details are available here.